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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Thursday, December 8, 2011 (AM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: This question is concerning people that have defected from North Korea to China. Some news sources have reported that the Government of Japan has submitted a document to the Chinese Government pledging that it will respect the domestic laws of China and not take allow defectors from North Korea outside of its diplomatic missions into its premises. Please comment on the authenticity of these reports.

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: First of all, I would like to emphasize that I will not clarify any specific details regarding this issue. Furthermore, Japan has properly responded to the issue of defectors from North Korea from a humanitarian perspective and in consideration of the content of the North Korean Human Rights Act. Currently, the Government of Japan is aware of more than 100 defectors that have entered the country, and Japan intends to continue to properly respond to the defector issue from a humanitarian perspective. Moreover, with regard to relations with China, China is considered to be a host of the largest number of defectors, making cooperation with China very important. As such, Japan has worked with the Chinese Government on properly responding to the defector issue. Japan has never said that it will not receive defectors from China in the future.


REPORTER: Today, certain news outlets reported that the Government is preparing to provide the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) with the scale of 2 trillion yen in public funding and make it a virtually state-sponsored company. It is correct to say that the Government will be making adjustments in this manner moving forward?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: This has only been reported by a few news outlets, so to put it more accurately, the Government is considering various different problems related to TEPCO at ministerial meetings on electric power reform and TEPCO and other venues. Moreover, next spring the Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Corporation and TEPCO plan to jointly craft a special comprehensive business plan. As one of the efforts of that plan, it is my understanding that consideration will be paid to a financial subsidy to be provided through the Corporation. The Act to Establish Nuclear Damage Compensation Facilitation Corporation stipulates that nuclear power suppliers can submit applications to receive financial subsidies, but at present there has been no such approach from TEPCO.


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